Five European cities are the world’s most sustainable destinations, according to the recently released 2019 Global Destinations Sustainability (GDS) Index.

Every year, the GDS-Index provides the list and gives awards to those that show the most innovation, leadership and improvement. Here are the leading destinations, worthy of close consideration when planning your next environmentally conscious event.

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Gothenburg score divided into the four key areas listed below. Via GDS-Index.

Top Five Most Sustainable Destinations

  1. Gothenburg, Sweden, 90 percent
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark, 88 percent
  3. Zurich, Switzerland, 85 percent
  4. Aalborg, Denmark at 76 percent
  5. Glasgow, Scotland at 79 percent


To determine which cities are the most sustainable, the GDS references 70 indicators, which are spread across four key areas: city environmental performance, city social performance, supplier performance and destination management performance.

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The indicators range from the physical to the social and political, and include everything from air quality, waste and transportation to corruption and governance practices. The percentages listed above are determined by aggregating the total number of points a destination receives for each indicator, then dividing it by the total number of points possible.

Other Destinations in the Top 20

In case the top five destinations listed above aren’t in the cards for you, here are the remaining 15 most sustainable destinations, to give you more options when planning sustainably.

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. Malmo, Sweden
  3. Sydney, Australia
  4. Uppsala, Sweden
  5. Melbourne, Australia
  6. Dublin, Ireland
  7. Stockholm, Sweden
  8. Aarhus, Denmark
  9. Lausanne-Montreux, Switzerland
  10. Galway, Ireland
  11. Brussels, Belgium
  12. Ljubijana, Slovenia
  13. Oslo, Sweden
  14. Helsinki, Finland
  15. Kerry, Ireland